Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bruce Tamnien, Johannes Brahms, Robert Shaw Festival Singers|
Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes
Genres: Folk, Pop, Classical
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Carol S. from PARADISE, CA
Reviewed on 8/12/2006...
The Songs Are Truly Stunning -- A Treasure Trove
Eugene G. Barnes | Dunn Loring, VA USA | 02/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Your collection of Robert Shaw CDs wouldn't be complete without this easily overlooked volume of Brahms, 40 tracks (62 minutes) worth of impeccably realized choruses. The entire Liebeslieder (Love-Song) Waltzes are here (the first 33 tracks). They've been known to show up in two versions, (1) for four vocal soloists, and (2) for a four-part chorus of moderate size. Both are valid; Brahms did not make his druthers known. Over the years I've come to prefer the soloist version myself, but this performance of Shaw's makes the best case yet for the choral version. (It's Shaw's obviously calculated planning-out of the many fine melodic turns of phrase that I get a little frustrated over, preferring instead to hear the impassioned spontaneity of a solo singer. With Shaw, that's a small gripe, to say the least!)But listen, do you want to know a secret? It's the final seven tracks, which Shaw has called "Evening Songs." You can immediately hear that these are REAL choral pieces (that is to say, they wouldn't work at all with solo voices). They were selected from different eras in Brahms' life, and taken together they make a stunning impression. They have as their unifier texts about nighttime reveries and meditations. They stand with the best music Brahms ever wrote. You may find yourself cool to the frothy delights of the Waltzes (I don't; I think they're grand!), but you will not be able to deny the wonder of Brahms' - and Shaw's - achievement in these seven songs. Only 17 minutes they are, but they occupy a lifetime of taste!"
Brahms's choral music done by Shaw - YOU KNOW IT IS GREAT!
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 07/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the time before TV, Movies, and, well, records - people would make music on their own. They would even form societies to perform choral or small ensemble music. This music is written for intimate performance. I mean, all you need is a group of 20-40 singers and a good piano with two decent pianists (it is piano four-hands).They are short, charming, and emotionally satisfying pieces. The technical demands are not severe, but require performers of some experience if not extensive training. The kind of people who would have existed in some quantity in Germany at the time these were written. Remember, Brahms actually made a living from the sales of his published music! That is very rare in the history of music. But the relative sophistication of the time created the demand for such pieces and Brahms provided them with absolute gems.This disk contains both sets of the Liebeslieder Waltzes (love-song waltzes) and the set of seven Abendlieder (evening songs).As you would expect the Robert Shaw Festival Singers sing beautifully and the pianists support the singing very well. The Liebeslieder sets are charming and fun and BEAUTIFUL. I was fortunate to sing the second set with the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers this past year. It is quite fun. There is nice variety in the character of the pieces and there is enough solo work for the strong voices in the group to step out (NOT ME!).The Abendlieder are utterly gorgeous. Emotionally rich and lush in sound and texture. A nice end to the disk.The disk also includes a nice booklet with the lyrics of the songs and provides an English translation.My only quibble, and it is a small one - and is getting smaller upon each re-hearing is that the recording sounds a bit too wet for my tastes. I would have like to have heard the parts a tad more clearly. But you will love this disk. So, don't worry about my little squawk. Feel free to let me know what you think of the music and the disk."